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Get to know Manalapan

If you want to find Manalapan, you’ll have to zoom in pretty far on Google maps. No, even farther. Actually, it’s probably easier just to tell you that this tiny, exclusive municipality takes up the bottom third of the (itself very tiny) Hypoluxo Island in Lake Worth Lagoon and a slice of the barrier island, and that the two parts are connected only by water. But water is the thing in Manalapan; it makes up more than 80 percent of the town area. Manalapan is sited as a Spanish fort might have been 400 years ago, and today it takes advantage of its natural defensive location. While the rest of South Florida grows at incredible rates, Manalapan has kept development at a minimum and has plowed tax revenue into a responsive local government, police, and fire services. Which, when you consider that the entire town is smaller than most Florida HOAs, isn’t surprising.
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Commerce & Culture

Once you’ve found Manalapan, you’ll notice how little of it there is; the land area is a mere half square mile and exists mostly along two streets (one the legendary Highway A1A). In this deliberately low-density community where the population hovers around 400, the busiest intersection is a cul-de-sac. Water is the blood of the culture here, though megayachts must anchor elsewhere along the channel. All but a couple of dozen homes here have docks, and residents are likely to run errands in a runabout as in an automobile. The Atlantic coast of the town hides the wreck of the Lofthus, which met unfortunate circumstances in 1898 and now welcomes divers as the centerpiece of the Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve. There isn’t much visible commerce in Manalapan, save at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. Its three restaurants, spa, and luxury rooms cater to guests who love privacy — and its facilities function as a de facto (and de jure) private club for all Manalapan property owners.

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